Huntington Beach was our landing spot in southern California after spending a couple months around San Francisco. We were tired of the rain and general gloomieness of the weather and needed some winter sunshine. Also we had booked our flights to Guatemala out of LAX, so we needed to be somewhat near the airport. It’s tough to find a RV park around the LA area that has the amenities we wanted and still be affordable and in a nicer neighborhood. Man, do we sound needy. When looking at the parks on the Internet it can be difficult to tell what the neighborhood is like. Even with the review sites you need to get an idea of who is giving the reviews before you trust their judgment of the area. That’s why you can trust me!
The first night we were in Huntington we walked down to the pier and happened to find a drum circle. That was just the start of the HB experience. For what seems just another beach town, there’s so much going on in Huntington Beach. The sunsets are amazing, every night it’s a little bit different bit of beauty peaking over Catalina Island. It was great to be able to walk from the RV park to a real southern California beach! There’s a shop that sells a Cronut bacon sandwich… which is incredibly good. You can walk to the beach from there and watch people surfing in the morning. There’s a street fair every Tuesday where you can buy the sweetest freshest beef jerky that you’ve ever laid eyes on. You can live in an RV park with a guy that rides his bike around shirtless wearing a santa hat.
Huntington by the Sea RV Park
The reviews on the web make this place seem worse than it is. It’s pretty much a parking lot, but the spaces are wide enough to park your car beside the rig. Which is what the pros call an RV, cause we’re cool like that now. The wifi is great some days and terrible on others, but it’s pretty consistent in the ‘Clubhouse’ so we worked from there some days. One good thing about it is that they don’t have a bandwidth cap, so you can download big files overnight without them limiting your speed the next day. They have digital cable with HD… if you can get the box to work… and if the cable reaches. Their rates are expensive for anywhere else in the country but pretty reasonable for the LA area (at least in the winter). They have a really nice pool and hot tub, the game room has pool and ping pong. I am proud to still be undefeated Schubox champion of table tennis. The long termers are weird local californians who will have a nice conversation with you if you want, or completely ignore you if you want that also. The two women that work the front desk are really nice, we had a lot of contact with them while we were working in the Lounge area.
Huntington Beach Shops
Some of these places seem like they should only be open during spring break when they’re giving away dollar tequila shots to anyone wearing a tank top and sunglasses. But there are a few that seem reasonable and semi local friendly. Like Thai wave, Aloha Grill, and Dos Toros. It’s the winter so we’re not really getting the whole effect, not that we wanted that. It’s all sidewalk sales at the surf shops and locals complaining about tourists in the restaurants
I know it’s typical to say that you’ve found the best taco place in LA, but good god are these tacos fantastic. I grew up eating taco bell on the east coast, so it’s not like I have some magical palate for authentic mexican. But you don’t have to be a critic to know great tacos. These will haunt your dreams. If i’m the one telling you about these tacos, you’re already too late.
Not technically in Huntington Beach, but pretty close. We didn’t really do the research on what the tow dolly would do to the tires. So after 3000 miles we got some serious ‘cupping’ going on. So I found this place online, $90 for two tires. not bad. Feels like an authentic LA experience. Having the car work done in a parking lot while everybody around you speaks Spanish.
Orange County Barber Shop
My tour of indie Barber shops continues. Louis was really nice, but he did cut a little too much off. But I’m willing to let it pass since it looked good in the end anyway. They have a cool place, just two old school barber chairs. Everything is painted like a hot rod. And I really liked their logo and merch, I should have bought one of their ‘Barbers’ (in the LA Lakers font) fitted hats. But then I thought I would have to keep explaining it… so I passed.
Weird Weather at Huntington Beach
When we were here we had a crazy hailstorm roll through. I was in the clubhouse working because the wifi signal had dropped out at our RV. There were 3 hispanic guys working on a fence who had to take shelter in there too, they were making a big deal about the ‘snowstorm’. There was so much hail that I made a ‘hail ball’ for one of the women at the front desk, since she had never seen snow before. We took a ride down to the beach to check out the beaches that were covered in hail, it was a pretty crazy sight.
Huntington Beach (and HBTS specifically) is a pretty good place to explore the LA area from. It’s only about an hour from Hollywood, 30 minutes from Disneyland, so you can do the tourist thing once in a while. It’s pretty slow in the winter, but I think we liked it better that way. From the RV park there’s not much within walking distance, but there’s tons of stores, restaurants, and a Walmart within a short drive. Just a word of warning, it’s a $115 cab ride from LAX.
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